Confronting evil in the world

Charles Krauthammer on why the President is reluctant to use American power to confront evil


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 12, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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In "Back of the Book" segment tonight, President Obama and evil. I addressed the subject last night in my "Talking Points Memo," posted on

And last week on "SPECIAL REPORT," Charles Krauthammer pointed out the President is allowing evil to run wild in the world. He joins us now from Washington.

So, we all know that this is true and the other people disagree with you and me. They are uninformed, whatever, all right.

So, this evil growing, we see it everywhere, it's gone pretty much unchecked. But, now, the why of it, the why. President Obama doesn't want to confront evil. Why not.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it starts with the fact and you just go back to the series of speeches he made after being sworn in 2009 when he went abroad.

It was called the Apology Tour, but it was more of a Confessional Tour where he talked over and over again, on foreign soil, mind you, about all the sins America had committed.

You know, starting with the maltreatment of Indians, all the way to Hiroshima, the coup in Iran in 1953. He gave -- and, of course, he emphasized Iraq, the torture -- all these other things.

He says that abroad. You know that he means it. And I think he's one of the rare presidents who really thinks that America, perhaps despite its intentions -- I'm not sure I know what he thinks about that -- but, either way, that America ends up doing more harm than good.

And I think that his view of American power and he sees his role as there for restraining American power.

O'REILLY: Well, let me jump in here and --


O'REILLY: Look, you've spoken with him up close and personal, as have I, all right. He doesn't come across as an ideological nut or an uninformed man. Would you agree with that assessment.

KRAUTHAMMER: But I think you're mistaking appearances with reality.

O'REILLY: All right, maybe so.

KRAUTHAMMER: He can talk his way out of a paper bag. I'm very impressed by how Socratic and fluid he is. But I would say, Bill, judge him on what he does.

O'REILLY: OK, I'm not judging him at all. But I'm saying he doesn't come across as somebody who's irrational.

I pointed out last night that, for one solid year, since the ISIS Army seized a town, an entire town, in Syria, that President Obama and his advisors knew that this group was growing in power and ferocity, that they were the same as Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party, that they would execute people, rape them, enslave them, do whatever they wanted to do with them.

And for one solid year, the most powerful man in the world, really the only one, who could have done damage to this group, did not do damage to it and allowed them to murder human beings at will, to grow in ferocity where they now are threatening an entire nation.

Now, I would like to put that question to President Obama and I don't believe he could answer that question.

So, it's either care about fellow human beings being slaughtered, he's too afraid to do it, or he's too apathetic to do it. There's no other explanation, or am I wrong.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, let me propose a different explanation, added on to the one before, uncertainty about the righteousness of America by the America, about American exceptionalism.

I would add on to that the feeling that he has, that he -- and this, I would say, is a kind of narcissism.

He presented himself to the nation as the man who would end the wars. He ran for reelection, "I end wars," --


-- "I start them." And this is his self-image. That's going to be his legacy, if he has any, in history, "I ended the war in Afghanistan. I ended the war in Iraq." Now, in fact, David Petraeus ended the war in Iraq.


And Obama created the conditions for the rekindling of the war. But that's fact. In his mind, he was committed to a policy of, "Hands off. We're not going to get into Syria. We're not going to get back into Iraq. I'm the peacemaker. I won the Nobel on the presumption that I'm the man who takes us out of wars."

So, to act forcefully, to act decisively would have been a contradiction of the self-image and of the image he wants history to read and the American people to see.

O'REILLY: All right, that's good. That's good. That's good, Charles. I can't argue with that. It could be very well true.

Charles Krauthammer, "Things that Matter," another good summer read, still a bestseller. We appreciate you coming on.


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